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A Year in Smart Politics

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A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013

ushouseseal10.pngFor new readers of Smart Politics, this end-of-the-year report offers a slice of how the data was carved up at Smart Politics in 2013 across the more than 200 reports published on the site this year.

The plurality of coverage centered on the U.S. House of Representatives, with 73 reports focused on that institution, or 34 percent of the year's content.

A sampling of such stories includes:

· Western Women: Regional Gender Disparities in Congressional Representation

· To Serve or Represent? Website Taglines of US Representatives

· Meet the Three House Women Who Go by "Congressman"

· African-American US Representatives by the Numbers

· Running from the Flag? Old Glory Symbolism Waning on US House Campaign Websites

Sixty-three reports discussed developments in or campaigns for the U.S. Senate (30 percent) such as:

· The Longest-Held Republican US Senate Seats

· US Senate Special Elections by the Numbers

· Unusual Entrances: Clergymen Turned US Senators

· Harry Byrd's Death Leaves 167 Living Ex-Senators

· The Third Wheel: States with the Most 3rd Party US Senate Candidacies

Some reports focused on members of both legislative chambers:

· Clockwatchers: Capitol Hill Republicans Showcase 'Debt Clocks' on Websites

· Unusual Exits: 6 Members of Congress Killed by Accidental Gunshots

· 64 Percent of 9/11 Legislators Are Out of Congress

Forty-two reports addressed governorships or upcoming gubernatorial contests across the country (20 percent):

· The Most Competitive States for Gubernatorial Elections Since 1900

· The Five-Timers Club: Gubernatorial Edition

· The Top 50 Longest-Serving Governors of All Time

· 7 Gubernatorial Election Double-Takes

· Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

· Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Another 26 reports focused on the presidency (12 percent):

· Who's #1? The Media's 2016 Republican Field

· The Death of Presidents: Beware of June and July

· Obama Has Mentioned Terrorism Nearly 1,500 Times as President

· Presidential Commencement Addresses: Notre Dame Reigns

· George H.W. Bush: Hater of Broccoli

· Pollsters Ignoring Rick Perry's 2016 'Campaign'

An additional four percent of reporting addressed other political offices or institutions.

The plurality of Smart Politics reporting in 2013 focused on national politics, regional politics, or politics and campaigns across multiple states (79 reports, or 37.1 percent).

However, stand alone reports were also written on political developments in 37 different states led by Smart Politics' home state of Minnesota (33) and followed by South Dakota and Wisconsin (eight each), Iowa, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (six), Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia (five), and Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New Jersey (four).

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Remains of the Data

Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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